I saw the film at midnight. It was very good, but it could have been better. Above Average.
The most exciting part of the entire movie was the first fight between Whiplash and Iron Man on the racetrack. I wasn't a big fan of the Tony dying plot since I never really got the feeling that he was any kind of danger. It should have focused entirely on his alcohol problem, but I was glad his drinking problem was there. The middle section of the movie dragged a little, but it came back with a strong finish. As usual RDJ did a great job, along with all the supporting actors. Mickey Rourke did well with what he was given. I watched Moon recently and loved it, and was very surprised to see Sam Rockwell as Hammer, which he was very funny as.
The way Happy Hogan ended his fist fight with the guard and War Machine using the "Ex-Wife" on Whiplash got the biggest laughs from the audience that I was with. The Iron Man movies have always had much better humor than the Spider-Man movies.
Now it's time to use Mandarin in Iron Man 3!
Totally agree with you that they should have replaced the Tony dying storyline with more of a focus on his alcoholism. There was no drama in the "Tony's dying" storyline because we knew he wasn't going to die. Like you though, I'm glad they made some acknowledgement of his alcoholism but it should have taken a more central role. They should have stuck with a more loyal adaptation of Demon in a Bottle.
Totally agree as well that Iron Man's humor is much better than Spider-Man. In costume, Spider-Man was always missing the great one-liners in his films.